I recently attended two conferences. One left me full of enthusiasm, the other dispirited. The former was the Campaign for an Independent Britain's rhetorical-question-titled conference “Can Christianity and the European Union Survive One Another” on February 22. The latter was the London Evening Standard's “London Needs More Immigration” debate on March 3.
All this shows very clearly why opinion polls and other demographic or epidemiological (in medicine) studies need samples which are highily representative of the populations surveyed in order to have any meaning at all.
Neither meeting's audience was representative, both were very much self-selected, which explains my elation at the first and frustration - if not despair - at the second.
All three speeches at the Christianity and EU discussion were excellent and inspiring. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali’s was my favourite. His speech “Christian Europe or Federal Europe” I consider one of the best I’ve heard in a very long time. He went through a concise but complete history of the close relationship between Christianity and the West, covering all the important points in a short time, and in so doing answering some of the questions I had in my mind. An illuminating speech.
Last but not least, to see a large room full of Christians and other people quite enthusiastic and prepared to do something about Christianity was a novel, rare, wonderful experience. Admittedly, the average age was very high, which could be the only worrisome aspect.
The audience at the London immigration debate was larger, several hundred people, on average younger and multicultural.
The speakers were lacklustre, and some, like Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy, seemed more suitable to address a kindergarten assembly than a gathering of adults interested in political issues. Suffice it to say that, for him, immigration's gift of Kylie Minogue to London was a good enough reason to support the population replacement the city has been going through.
To me, a long-time sufferer of addiction to Question Time (often a stressful experience), the discussion was very evocative of the BBC program, in that the views expressed seemed so much at odds with both reality and what people in the street would say.
Where the 70% of people in Britain who want immigration to be reduced or stopped completely - although apparently they are 65% in London, which is still two thirds anyway - had been hiding during the ES debate I don't know, but they certainly were not there.
A vote was taken at the end, which showed a majority in favour of the motion “London Needs More Immigration”. That's why George Whale of Liberty GB, who also attended the conference, suggested as this article's title "London Surrenders".
Questions that should have been asked at the immigration debate but never were
1) So far we've talked about immigration, but not much about immigrants. A particularly numerous group of them is Muslims. If the panellists take a look at a map of the world and listen to international news, they'll see that in every country in which Muslims reach a certain number - they don't need to be the majority, only a sizeable minority -, they try to impose sharia law on everybody and often use violent means to that end. What makes the panel think that Britain, once Muslims become 10, 20, or 30 percent of the population, will be the exception to the universal rule?
2) Member of the panel and Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy said that immigration should not be stopped - far from it -, but all debate on immigration should, as it's toxic, like the debate on abortion in America. Although I disagree on his suggested repression of freedom of speech, I find his parallel appropriate. I'd also add that the reason why both debates are toxic and divisive is the same. Abortion on demand was undemocratically imposed on the American people, the majority of whom were opposed to abortion, by a in which not a law of the US Congress, but unelected judges of the Supreme Court liberalised it in the landmark Roe v. Wade case ruling. Similarly, mass and uncontrolled immigration from all over the world was imposed on the British by successive governments which never bothered to consult the opinion of the people about this huge social experiment which was going to change their lives forever in the most dramatic of ways. Doesn't the panel think that divisions within a nation are created by undemocratic and unpopular decisions of the ruling elites, which lead to forced conformism by a part of the population and opposition by the other?
3) Panellist Tessa Jowell, Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, and others have claimed that resistance to change is a major reason for the hostility towards uncontrolled immigration. Does the Right Honourable Dame Tessa believe that all change should be welcome just for the sake of novelty? Should Germans have been happy when Hitler, who represented lots of changes, became chancellor?
4) If immigrants are so beneficial for London's (and one presumes Britain's) economy, how is it that, after many years of this beneficial open-doors immigration policies, the country has a national debt of one and a quarter trillion pounds, a peacetime record, equivalent to 76.6% of GDP (the highest ratio to GDP since World War II and predicted to rise to 94.30% under current trends) - although, factoring in all liabilities including state and public sector pensions, the real national debt is closer to £4.8 trillion, some £78,000 for every person in the UK -, growing at a rate of over 5,000 pounds per second? To give you an idea of how fast public debt is growing, it was only £0.53 trillion, less than half, in 2008.
Could this be because the present immigration and welfare policies, working together, are bankrupting Britain? Don't take my word for it. The most far-reaching study ever conducted on the impact of migration on taxpayers, a University College London’s study covering 16 years, concluded that immigrants from outside the EEA (European Economic Area) take £100 billion more in benefits than they pay back in taxes. Non-Europeans immigrants dig a deep hole in our finances: the amount taken in benefits and services by them is 14% higher than money put back.
European immigrants pay 4 per cent more into the tax system than they take out, while British-born people pay in 7 per cent less than they receive from the state.
But this does not mean that, as the spin goes, immigrants positively contribute to Britain. It just means that a high number of even hard-working European immigrants hurts the British economy, as they take jobs that would otherwise be filled by British people, who in turn because of that are on the dole and a burden for taxpayers. If natives did those jobs, they would contribute to the revenue the same amount of tax as the immigrants, instead of living on benefits.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) report Work for the Dole shows that it’s not true, as we often hear, that the jobs simply aren’t there, particularly with the difficult economic situation. Its analysis shows that 3.5 million new jobs have been created since 1997, and that employment today stands at a higher level than at any time in UK history. As 2.5 million jobs were created since 2000, out-of-work welfare claimant rolls stayed about the same. UK welfare claimants were not moving into work as jobs were created, while 68% of the jobs created were taken by immigrants prepared to work hard rather than rely on benefits, and while many British people on out-of-work benefits evidently weren’t interested in the new jobs.
Stopping uncontrolled immigration, combined with a plan for helping and training natives on the dole to get into work - as outlined in the TPA’s document -, is what is needed, and this is what the Liberty GB party has in its manifesto policies.
The question for the panel is: why don't you all stop talking nonsense and start joining and voting for Liberty GB?